Los Angeles Gladiators playoff-bound after sweep of Shanghai Dragons

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Los Angeles Gladiators 4 - Shanghai Dragons 0

The Los Angeles Gladiators took an easy 4-0 victory over the Shanghai Dragons to kick off the final week of the Overwatch League regular season on Wednesday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.

With this win, the Gladiators secured its spot in both the Stage 4 playoffs this Sunday and the season playoffs later later this summer. Heading into this series, the team showed off a steady and methodological approach to taking down the Dragons and avoided the slipups that have cost other teams maps when they let their guard down against Shanghai.

Gladiators DPS Lane "Surefour" Roberts was lethal on both Widowmaker and Tracer, and he decimated the Dragons throughout the series. His teammates, like support Benjamin "BigGoose" Isohanni, had some stellar moments, too, and faced little to no opposition from the Dragons. Whether it was using Lucio's Soundwave to knock three members of the Dragons off the stage in Lijiang Tower or using Mercy to pick up a few kills on the Shanghai supports during Watchpoint: Gibraltar, BigGoose was doing it all.

The Dragons, on the other hand, played sloppier than it had all season with a disjointed and lackluster offense from start to finish. Shanghai is now one loss away from an 0-40 finish to the season.

The Los Angeles Gladiators continues the week with high spirits as it takes on the Seoul Dynasty at 9 p.m. ET on Friday. The Shanghai Dragons goes into its finale match of the season against the San Francisco Shock at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday night.

-- Steven Nguyen

Los Angeles Valiant 3 - San Francisco Shock 1

The Los Angeles Valiant remained unbeaten in Stage 4 of the Overwatch League with a 3-1 win against the San Francisco Shock on Wednesday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.

The Valiant, which clinched its appearance in both the Stage 4 and season playoffs last week, switched up the roster in this series and started Kyle "KSF" Frandanisa and Chae "Bunny" Jun-hyeok as the team's DPS corps. Although the two were only in the lineup to log some valuable playing time before playoffs, both players performed at an impressively high level.

Bunny showed that he was more than just a Tracer specialist by flexing onto Widowmaker and going toe-to-toe with the best the Shock had to offer. Meanwhile, KSF popped off on Dorado as Hanzo where he more than doubled the kills of the Shock's Hanzo player Dante "Danteh" Cruz. The substitutes, who should have been the weakest link in the series, were in fact the strongest. That revelation makes the Valiant a very scary team headed into playoffs.

The Shock also tinkered with its lineup but with sub-optimal results. San Francisco has never looked so unorganized; it made a mess of engagements, threw fights that were already won and wasted ultimates in high-stakes moments. It was clear that the Shock had been not been preparing for this version of the Los Angeles Valiant. To make matters worse, after its pitiful performance against the Valiant, San Francisco was eliminated from Stage 4 playoff contention.

The Los Angeles Valiant will attempt to clinch the No. 1 seed in the stage playoffs against the Dallas Fuel at 11 p.m ET on Friday. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Shock will get to take its frustrations out on the Shanghai Dragons at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.

-- Travis Elliott

Seoul Dynasty 3 - Dallas Fuel 1

The Seoul Dynasty won a 3-1 series against the Dallas Fuel on Wednesday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.

In a series between two teams struggling to reach their respective former glory, the pace was wholly dictated by the stellar plays made by a select few members of each team. For Seoul, it was flex player Kim "zunba" Joon-hyeok and DPS Kim "Fleta" Byung-sun that did their best to keep the team going through excellent D.Va self-destructs and Widowmaker plays, respectively. Against all odds, though, Seoul continued to exhibit the same issues that have plagued it all throughout Stage 4. Whether it was poor team composition choices or choking during important moments on Horizon Lunar Colony and Oasis, the team never seemed to be firing on all cylinders and moving as a cohesive unit.

On the side of the Dallas Fuel, DPS Dylan "aKm" Bignet stepped in for Timo "Taimou" Kettunen during the second half and attempted to pull the team back from the brink of defeat. aKm's Widowmaker gave Fleta a run for his money, which was more than enough to stop Seoul from winning the series outright on Oasis. With aKm pushing the team along, Dallas went into the final map, Dorado, with a chance to tie things up and force a tiebreaker.

Dallas flex player Brandon "Seagull" Larned spurred his team on with key contributions as D.Va and Pharah, but the spark he provided came a bit too late. He and the Fuel managed to hold off the Seoul attack for as long as they could, but there was no hope once it was Seoul's turn to defend. Zunba's D.Va was too much for the Fuel to handle and opened the door for the rest of the Dynasty to follow up with a well-coordinated defense to stop the Fuel in its tracks.

With the loss, the Fuel Stage 4 playoffs hopes are on life support. It'll need a win in its last series and some help from other teams to reach the postseason.

The Seoul Dynasty will face off with the Los Angeles Gladiators 9 p.m. ET on Friday. Immediately afterward, the Dallas Fuel will face off against the Los Angeles Valiant at 11 p.m. ET.

-- Steven Nguyen